tv [untitled] May 10, 2012 6:00pm-6:30pm PDT
bank you to all the folks behind me and for coming out to make these events possible. thank you for coming out. we will see you on sunday. [applause] >> so thank you very much for coming to the second annual budget town hall. my name is david chiu, and i am honored to represent the district 3, which is the 10 any
neighborhoods. i want to welcome all of you to this town hall. i want to thank all of you for your community leadership and let you know that you're taking part in a very, incredibly important part of our city governance. i thing many of you know that the budget is the most important set of decisions that we make every single year. the budget reflects our priorities as a city and reflects our values. and many of you probably also know that in recent years, every year since i have been in office, we have had a budget deficit. so we have to make some very, very difficult choices. i want to thank not only not of you who have -- not only all of you who have come here today, but those from city government, in particular are city officials. this is the second annual budget town hall, something we started in mayor lee's first year.
in the first meeting i had with mayor lee after he was sworn in as our interim mayor last year, i asked him and other supervisors asked him for ways to make our budget process more collaborative and more transparent. and the budget team and mayor lee in the board of supervisors, we thought that this format of budget town halls in many districts around the city would make a lot of sense, and i think it has been a very good way for us to have feedback. without further ado, i would like to introduce my co-host for tonight, who is my neighboring supervisor from across the van ness, supervisor mar farrell. it is great to have you here in district 3. [applause] >> thank you, supervisor chiu. i also want to quickly thank everyone the for coming out tonight, especially those from districts two who traveled all the way from the telegraph hill. that is right, go ahead and clap for yourselves. thank you for coming out
tonight. last year we started this with mayor lee, and i do think this has become such an integral process and kind of part of our budget cycle in city hall. we really want to hear from you. tonight, that is what this is all about. i hope those of you who are here will take the time to write in your questions. i know there is a format here to come up and speak. we have the best moderator in town in tina, president of the russian hill neighbors association. thank you for moderating tonight. but i encourage everyone to submit questions and conduct was after words as well. we want to hear from you and make sure we incorporate everything you say tonight into what we decide in city hall, not only this year by going forward in the future. again, we all want to thank all of the city department heads and staff that are here tonight. thank you all for being here. it is a big deal that they come here to all these budget town halls to really make sure that
any of your concerns they can speak to as well. without further ado, the one person we really want to thank for making these budget town halls happen is our major. he has taken time out of his very busy schedule -- [applause] and please note -- i know the board president mentions this as well, but it is really, as a representative of district two, it is really a pleasure to be working with mayor lee, not only on many issues on city hall but especially as it relates to our budget and is transparent process going and long way. so please give a warm round of applause for mayor ed lee. [applause] >> thank you, supervisors, very much. good evening, everyone. it is my pleasure to be here at telegraph hill center. it is a personal pleasure of mind. i actually do -- i may be in opposite to what you think. we do enjoy being out in the neighborhoods.
it is better than the question and answer period in the -- [laughter] anyway, we do enjoy it. i know tonight we will be talking about one in the most important things that we do. and i cannot think of a better way to make an important decision that involve everybody who are stakeholders in our budget. you must tell us what you think is the most important thing that we should be focused on. and while we may think, as political leaders and people who have been elected, that we might at times know better, quite frankly, we need to hear from everybody always so that we honor a commitment that this government has made for many, many a decade. i have been involved in it for 22 years. honor the neighborhoods, and you will survive. so i want to thank the various department heads with me. i want to give a shout-out to the office of civic engagement and immigrant affairs or here
tonight to translate for anybody who wants. the extra help for anybody needs to make their point across. most importantly, i want to begin with a big thank you to all of you. you kind of heard that our budget is approving a little bit. yes. unemployment is down from a year ago. in fact, we got some great news a couple months ago, that our first six-month report indicated that we were $129 million off, and the good way. that what we had thought was going to be the first year of a two-year budget to be some $225 million in the deficit, we found out that we're now about $170 million in the first issue deficit and about $312 million for the second year. so i need to remind you all of that we are no longer doing budgets on a year-to-year basis.
one of the reasons that we need to spend more time in the community is to get you to know that we have to two-year budget. we have to put a little more discipline in the way we budget ourselves. a little more discipline and taking care of things like our infrastructure, think that they get very long time. a little more discipline in making sure that when we way would you tell us tonight, what we need to pay attention to, that we have the revenue and resources not only for one year but two years going down. by law, by what you voted for, we have a two-year budget. we have a deficit of $170 million in the first year and about $312 million in the second year. it is better than what we saw a few years ago for these years coming forth. now that may sound like a whole lot of money to you, and it is, but it is much better than the numbers that we saw when we did not have pension reform, as they accomplished with the board of
supervisors in with people like warren hellman and others that helped us last year passed that very important thing. it is looks better now that we have proposition d that was passed with our street paving bonds and other things that we have done smartly. but with that, we still have a very complicated decisions to make that will reflect our priorities. i want to also thank supervisor carmen chu who is out here tonight. she is going to be the head of the budget committee -- committee. [laughter] that the supervisors have selected with david chiu's help. this is her third. i have committed to six. we are combining as many of the districts together as possible, so we're trying to do this as efficiently as possible. but we will do all six. we know, based on last year's turnout and i think tonight, the
turnout as well, if we listen to closely, we go and do our homework, we will make good decisions so that hopefully you are not there the end of may screaming at us in the months of june saying we did not listen. we have got to listen early, and we have got to do -- got to make good decisions. we're ready to do that. i wanted to forewarn you that this is a two-year budget and is still bouncing a deficit. and guess what -- the news from the state and the news from the federal government is not improving. every time we looked around, there's something else of the governor says he has got to cut, because we head -- cannot figure out how to balance the state budget. if you notice, on every major decisions that they are making, they are making the cities, with their own dollars. they are pushing. so they call something realignment. that sounds kind of like, ok, you're shoveling a little bit. realignment means they are rushing into the county's and making us figure out how to pay for it. that is what realignment is.
that is what they did with redevelopment. they eliminated that agency, and now we have got the burden of coming up with solutions to build more affordable housing in the city and more work force housing in the city. they're pushing more and more things. then the federal government does not seem to be playing in a different tune as well. they're pushing out federal jobs. they are pushing down federal programs. they are cutting spending. as you may have heard, we got a big, big hit announcement or they're not going to fund red- and-white and we have people with aids that need treatment. -- not going to fund ryan white, and we have people with aids and the treatment. everything is on the table. child care is on the table. senior programs of nutrition are on the table. while we're trying to figure out housing at the same time. we have all these problems that the city, and not just me,
every urban city is experiencing this problem, particularly in the state of california. so i need to give you that backdrop to let you know that the decisions we are going to may, with all these very smart people that head up the several dozen agencies, it is not going to be an easy thing. but i will repeat over and over again, the best decisions we make the once grounded with -- with community support, and we want to hear you carefully. so i am going to end my speech is right now so we can spend the bulk of the time listening to your ideas, your solutions, and your suggestions. i leave you with this one thought. be involved. be a bit of with your ideas, because i think innovation, finding creative solutions to old challenges, is extremely meaningful in the city. finally, think about where we should invest. because if we are an investment- friendly city and if we have our
priorities straight, guess what, a lot of people with a lot of money will invest in our city as well. not government, because i told you that story, but maybe these other companies that if we talk to them the right way, if we suggest to them there are programs that are really important to all of whether to defer our parks, used, are homeless programs, that they are really important, they're going to come up with some dollars to help us with that. that is what makes an investment-friendly city and also reflects the values the city has. thank you for coming out. i appreciate your time and your effort. [applause] >> thank you, mr. mayor. i am going to take two minutes to introduce the men and women to my left and right. as the mayor said, a unit next to as the leadership of many of our city agencies that help to manage the close to $7 billion and the over 50 debarment we have in the city. starting on my right, mayor lee
introduced supervisor carmen chu, who heads of our budget committee. thank you for being here. next to her is kate howard, our city's budget director. next to her is luis herrera, our city librarian who manages the san francisco public library. our housing and 30 is run by director henry alvarez -- housing authority is run by director henry l. burress. our human services agency, derek chu. now relations between any of thechu's tonight, by the way. the head of our department of children, youth, and families, maria. the head of the department of public health, barbara garcia. from our neighborhood, a member of the department of emergency management. end of the blue uniform here, a well-known gentlemen, our police chief, greg suhr. good to see you.
to my letter to your right is ken from our city administrator's office but also in uniform tonight is our fire chief, chief hayes-white. [applause] from the children's support services, we have karen. to her left is our mayors education adviser and a member of our school board, hydra mendoza. a man who is responsible for cleaning and repairing our streets and other public works in our city, the director of public works, mohammed nuru puerto rico director of rec and park department, philip ginsburg. [applause] from hr san francisco mta -- and from our mayor's office on housing, olson lee. in addition, i want to thank all of the volunteers who are here. i also want to think the mayor's office on a neighborhood
services, disability. bud from media services. and sfgtv for helping to broadcast tonight's town hall. with that, it is my pleasure to introduce our moderator. we have one major neighborhood that is shared by district 3 and district two, and the head of one of the largest ethnic associations in both districts is the president of russian hill neighbors, tina. thank you, tina. [applause] >> i do not know whether to stand in front of you or in front of you. either way, i have my back. i wanted to point out first that we have translators. so i would like everyone to speak clearly. and when you finish a sentence, pause before you start the next one. it really will help them out. i want to go over the two-minute rule we are going to have at the very end. and we are going to have two
minutes for every speaker. i know you all will not get a chance, but i think you put your questions and to the fish bowl, and we will take one question per district. one from two, one from three, and go that way to make it fair. you can spend all two minutes in making a statement or speak for one minute and have an answer from one of the department chiefs, supervisors, or the mayor. keep in mind, i do have a timekeeper. i am going to go over the ground rules for the evening. basically, we want everybody to be able to speak, but if you cannot, there are going to be budget meetings and hearings with the finance committee after tonight. in order to have an effective
meeting, we want to lay out a few of the ground rules to guide our conversation. number one, stay on the subject. number two, all ideas and perspectives will be heard. number 3, please be respectful of one another. and number four, speak one at a time. finally, please review the transmission equipment, as i mentioned before, so you know to not one speaker come on top of another. with that, i would like to introduce the mayor's budget director, miss kate howard. [applause] >> good evening, everybody. thank you, tina. thank you for hosting us here tonight and for giving us a chance to hear from you directly about your ideas in priorities for the city's budget. i thought i would give you a brief overview of the city's budget and how it works. as the supervisors and the mayor
mentioned, the city's budget is really -- reflects what our priorities are for our city. it is also a spending plan. how are we going to spend our money in the coming two years? generally in san francisco, we spend about 50% of our dollars on personnel, all the people who work for the city. about 26,000 of them. and about half on everything else. we also spent about 50% in what we call our general fund and 50% in what we call enterprise fund. as many of you know, and as the supervisor mentioned, we have more than 50 city departments. everything from the mta and the puc to health and human services, police and fire. i like to think of the enterprise departments like the city's small businesses or the city's business operations. we do not mix our home expenses with our business expenses in our home budgets, and we do not
do that for the city. so what do we spend our money on every year? we spend our money on our priorities, things like community health, things like social services, police and fire, rec and park, all of those things that are the core services and priorities for any city and county. where do we get our money? our money is like our paycheck. the revenue we get to operate the city. the city's general fund primarily comes from tax revenues. so we get some money from the state and federal government, but most of our money we get from property-tax, payroll tax, business tax, hotel room tax. basically, we get our money from you. so it is important to hear from you about how we should spend that money. as the mayor mentioned, one of the things that we are here to talk with you about tonight is how do we bridge the gap that we
have in the amount we have to spend, our expenses, and how much revenue we are taking in? a good way of thinking about that is, for many of us over the last few years with the economic downturn, our income has stayed flat. in some cases it has even gone down. at the same time, our expensive -- expenses have gone up. rent has gone up. gasoline has gone more expensive. health care is more expensive. those factors are making a gap in their city's budget, where our income is not growing as fast as our expenses. so our task tonight is to hear from you. as the mere mention, but want to hear from you about how do we think about investing, how do we think about innovating, and how do we really think about this new challenge of balancing a two-year budget in thinking about the long term? this is really just the
beginning of our budget process, and there are lots of opportunities for folks to continue to be involved. we're looking forward to hearing from you tonight. teaneck? -- 8tina? >> whoa, that was fast. [applause] you had another five minutes. as you heard from what she said, i counted 19 -- 18 of you out here. i know there are more supervisors and police. how far that budget has to go is just mind-boggling and how to decide upon it. you know, hopefully you can get some questions. we are going to have some speakers up, but then put some questions in that would have relevance. i think it is really important that we all have a say, and with this transparency, our voices can be heard. one that is really important for
me is the flight of families with small children. we have lost several on our board. safety is a huge thing. and health care. i mean, you name it. it is huge. so thank you for your remarks about the budget and the overwhelming decisions you have to make. and we're now going to have 20 minutes -- we are going to hear from two members of the constituency of district two, who will speak on it and their topics. and then we will have district 3 representatives. >> not that i do not want to talk to you all, but i figured us are talking to them. my name is bill hudson. i am with the association of
neighbors. u.s. as to speak to the issues that we have most pressing in our minds that might drive your budgetary decisions tonight. first and foremost, as it was referenced, we are very concerned about public safety. we have a real concern that the richmond district is light- staffed and has a lot of senior officers, and they're not really feelinfilling the chain underne. we are of the belief that we do not have a patrol car in our neighborhood. a lot of instances have been happening more frequently in our area. we hear from private security firms and such that they're getting accidents or crime scenes are potential crimes well in advance of squad cars and the like. so we very much would appreciate it if the budgeting process to look at putting more money into the staffing at the richmond precinct, and i am sure that is probably a general city-wide concern. we are also very concerned
about commute traffic generally. by commute traffic, i am referring to the fact that our neighborhood streets have become thoroughfares for commute. and in our neighborhood, that is largely to and from and through the presidio, and it is through the presidio and the gates. but it is coming into our neighborhoods but then going down jackson, broadly, and washington. just because it is avoiding major arteries the mark -- arteries that are more congested. a specific budgetary issue would like to ask you to consider in this two-year budget process is that we are concerned that presidio parkway, when it is opened up with the gerard exit, will create a new traffic pattern flow that will affect our neighborhood, pacific heights, marina, and cal hollow, so we would like to see a thoughtful traffic plan study in the city to look at where
traffic is currently and where it may well end up once that presidio parkway has opened up, in terms of how traffic throat -- and traffic flows through lombard entered the presidio when they open up the exit. we do feel that that is going to become a traffic nightmare. and i would also point out that the superdelegates are high pedestrian and traffic gates because of jk park. it is health and safety concern in so far as traffic. i think people think we will solve traffic with a traffic light. that is not what we are asking for here. we're asking for a thoughtful analysis and a determination of what the right outcome is. you know, on the other side of the revenue and spending equation, we would just urge that as you're looking for additional sources of revenue, that you do not look good parking meters in our neighborhoods. because that is not something
that really, you know, honors the character of the neighborhood, as mayor lee just suggested. and we recognize that you're looking at an extremely challenging environment in terms of where the revenue comes from, but that is not something we would like to have happen. and building increasingly intensified neighborhoods is not something we think actually honors the character, even though it does generate revenue for the city. we do not know if that is a revenue fix either. but we recognize that your challenges are considerable. we're behind you in whatever way we can to make sure you try to push that. those are my comments. >> thank you, bill. the next speaker from district two is greg scott.
>> thank you, tina. thank you mayor lee, and supervisors chiu and farrell. phaa shares of the budget priorities expressed by presidio heights. the traffic issue concerns us greatly. one of the things that we think will make it worse on what is supposed to be residential street, that were mentioned by my predecessor speaker, is the bus rapid transit plan. we think that will force traffic off of geary and off of van ness and on to what was meant to be sidestreets that will become jammed with fast-moving traffic, a dangerous situation. our priorities also for safety and fire. we want the streets to be safe. we want adequate coverage for the quick response time. with respect to dpw and nt, we want to approve the deplorable condition of many of our streets. we want to improve muni service. we want to keep the three jackson.
it is a line that is important to our neighborhood. we want the muni drivers to be trained and to enforce appropriate behavior by muni drivers. muni drivers create a lot of the problems on the streets. they need to poll fully to bus stops and not block lanes. we have buses that the ballpark routinely in the 2300 block of jackson street by the meat toilet because they will not walk half a block. they doubled part of the use the muni torula. inexcusable behavior, behavior that should be easy to change. education. we have to get adequate funding. we believe the life of families to the suburbs could be stymied if we would return to the neighborhood's schools where people could have a certain child go to school close to home so they can walk to school. we should make school sites available during non-school hours for other uses. for example, the parking lot, the playground on webster street are being reconfigured by the school district, and we're concerned that they will no
longer be available for parking for calvert presbyterian on the weekends. having that excess property that the rise since a vacant be available for parking on off- hours when schools are not in a position to pressure off the streets. the libraries need adequate funding. rec and park, we want our parks to be clean, well repaired, and petrol. too often in lafayette park we have homeless and camps the need to be cleared. we need to make sure those parks are safe. we have had people shot and stabbed by both lafayette park and the plaza park. building and planning, we need to train the planners to make the projects conform to the code, and we need enforcement. enforcement is lacking. on the housing element, we need for the city to stop trying to integrate existing single-family residence neighborhoods. we do not need secondary units legalized everywhere, especially without parking. we do not need all the high rises that are proposed in the housing elements. the neighborhoods have sued the citce